Welcome back, Burn-outs! (How's that strike you for a name for fans of Manuscripts Burn? Terrible? Okay, well how about Scriptsmen? Burning Mans? Fuck you, I don't have to dance for you. I'm not a monkey.) So, you say I've been ignoring my blogging duties for upwards of half a month? First of all, you've got a lot of nerve, mister. Second of all, I haven't been ignoring them, I've been working on something else, namely this.
So there are a couple of rules to the Machine of Death entries, but otherwise the sky's the limit. Rule number the first: it must feature a machine which is always accurate, though not always clear, which tells you how you will die. Number two: it must determine your means of death via a blood test. Rulo tres: The title of the story must be a prediction, though it does not have to be a prediction that occurs in your story.
And that's about it. I read the entire original anthology and I was mostly intrigued. Admittedly, there was a lot of repetition and a lot of the stories hit a lot of the same points and admittedly, there was a lot of repetition and a lot of the stories hit a lot of the same points. For instance, I think almost every story related a parable about how someone got "ANEURYSM" as a prediction, and it turned out they were actually on a plane and the pilot had the aneurysm and they died in the crash. Still, there were a few winners. The dystopian future one was very interesting, albeit with a terrible ending. The one about the Yakuza was pretty good. But the important thing was there were different strokes for different folks.
You've still got 16 hours to enter if you care to. That's more than enough time for anyone, writerly or othewise, to pound out 1500 words. What's that you say? You think I waited until the last day to tell you so I would have less competition? Well, by your logic, sir, I should have waited until AFTER the contest was closed to post anything on Ye Olde Blogge. I say good day to you, sir. GOOD DAY!
But, yes, it's true, I didn't write anything on the blog until now because I've been burning through all my time writing and editing three short stories for the masses. I haven't been working on it since May 1, either. I found out about this contest on July 2. That's LESS THAN TWO WEEKS before it ended. I found the time crunch HIGHLY motivating. I was thinking about blogging about it before now, but, eh, you know, that whole less competition thing works, too. Plus, think about what a 16 hour time crunch could do for you! I had two weeks, but you have less than 1/14th of that. You should be 14 times as motivated. (I don't know, math was never my strong suit.)
So what copyrighted ideas did yours truly use so that you can know not to even attempt to use anything similar because you're a dick and you'll be sued by my team of lawyers from the Franklin and Bash law firm? I'm glad you asked, good citizens of Manurnia. The answer is these three things which I am about to list:
1.) A space opera about a legendary pirate who meets a sentient death machine and learns he is going to die in a particularly ignominious way.
2.) A horror story featuring (you guessed it) the shambling dead, detailing what happens when you test both before AND after you die.
3.) A story set in a near future Puerto Rico, where a foreign revolutionary has a very unusual method of ensuring the loyalty of his troops.
Look for all three in the upcoming Machine of Death II: The Deathening. Or possibly right here on the fucking blog if they don't get picked up, as they almost certainly won't.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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